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J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2012 Oct;32(5):675-9. doi: 10.1007/s11596-012-1016-4. Epub 2012 Oct 18.

Endothelial progenitor cells homing to the orthotopic implanted liver tumor of nude mice.

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Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.


This study investigated the "homing" phenomenon in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The "homing" specificity of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) by establishing an orthotopic implantation model in nude mice. EPCs harvested from the marrow cells were separated by density gradient centrifugation. Fluorescence microscope, flow cytometry (FCM) and double fluorescence staining with FITC-UEA-I and DiI-ac-LDL, were employed to identify the cells. 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) labelling and real-time PCR were used for detecting the expression of CD133 and chemokines to trace and observe the distribution of EPCs. Our results showed that the distribution rate of EPCs was obviously higher than that in other important organs and the negative control group. Detection of CD133 and chemokines yielded similar results in difference tissues. Our experiment confirmed that the chemotaxis of EPCs does exist in HCC. Moreover, HIF-1α, SDF-1 and VEGF might play important roles in the "homing" of EPCs in HCC. EPCs might be a potential candidate for targeting vector of HCC for gene therapy.

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